U.Va. Is Again Among Top Contributors to Teach For America

July 15, 2010 — Teach For America's 2010 teaching corps includes 48 graduates from the University of Virginia, ranking U.Va. as the 13th-leading contributor among universities with more than 10,000 undergraduates.

Among the top contributors were the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, which have larger undergraduate populations, Jim McBride, U.Va. director of career services, said.

Last year, 52 U.Va. graduates were accepted into the two-year Teach for America program. McBride noted that competition was fierce this year because of the lagging job market.

"Our students graduated into a tough economy," he said. "The number of applications Teach For America had was just astounding."

Teach For America corps members are top college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in underserved schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational equity, according to the organization. Teach For America recruits individuals from all academic majors and backgrounds who have demonstrated outstanding achievement, perseverance and leadership.

A record 46,000 members of the Class of 2010 applied to join, and the acceptance rate was 12 percent. Because of the enormous number of highly qualified candidates, Teach For America was able to increase both the size and strength of the incoming corps. The 4,500 incoming corps members have an average GPA of 3.6, and 89 percent have significant leadership experience.

Twenty-eight percent of incoming corps members received Pell Grants. Almost one-third are people of color, including 7 percent who are Hispanic and 11 percent who are African-American. In comparison, at the top 400 colleges and universities, 5 percent of graduates are African-Americans and 6 percent are Hispanics.

The top five producers of Teach for America corps members among large colleges and universities (as defined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching):

•    University of Texas at Austin (80 graduates)
•    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (79)
•    Cornell University (60)
•    University of California-Berkeley (57)
•    University of Wisconsin at Madison (56)

View a complete list of the top contributors here (pdf file).

Two-thirds of the more than 20,000 Teach For America alumni across the country are working full-time in education. More than 450 Teach For America alumni serve as school principals or superintendents; more than 500 work in government or policy; and 30 serve in elected office.

For information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.